[tdwg-guid] Need for citation information in GUID metadata

Bob Morris morris.bob at gmail.com
Tue Nov 6 23:00:52 CET 2007

The problem that nobody will take a position on is this:

Is the metadata on an image file, or on an image?

Even---or especially if---you stick to DC, you have a problem about
what things are part of a description.  If the metadata is about the
file, then it is reasonable to express, e.g. that it has 1200x800
pixels, encoded as jpeg but perhaps not that it is a a picture of a
flea biting a dog.  If the image is being described, the reverse might

Even if you are content to have folksonomies, i.e. tags, ---which is
probably about the best you can hope for in dc:description--- you
would find it only of very rare utility to search for "description
contains '1200x800'. On the other hand, rendering clients probably
desperately need the pixel size and also information about where to
find other sizes of the "same" image.

This particular example is a little forced since most digital image
formats actually  encode the pixel size of the image within the file
to aid decoding it for rendering, but the point remains.

I've put this whining in

> http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-terms/#H2
>     The problem is that there are no tags to point to a thumbnail. There
> is the Image vocabulary type, but that doesn't let a client distinguish
> between the actual, full size image and a thumbnail (not sure if that's
> a helpful distinction anyway). To accommodate that, we should create our
> own term for referring to thumbnails.
>     Does that sound like a feasible approach to solve this issue? Does
> the imaging group have any better solution to this problem?
>     Cheers,
> Ricardo
> Greg Riccardi wrote:
> > The LSID Applicability statement includes brief coverage, in Section
> > 10, of citation styles that describe how to format the LSID for
> > inclusion in pages. The statement does not include how to use LSIDs to
> > create appropriate citations in Web pages or other documents that
> > refer to the referenced digital object.
> >
> > For example, a Web application has an LSID reference to a Morphbank
> > image to be used in generating a Web page. The value of the LSID is of
> > secondary importance to the image itself and its metadata. The page
> > needs to include a version of the image, or a description of the
> > image, that is supported by a URL that presents more detail about the
> > referenced object. A typical presentation is a thumbnail of the image
> > and some descriptive text. Clicking on the image or text directs the
> > user to more detail about the image. The LSID is not directly useful
> > for this application. The page generator will use the LSID to fetch
> > the metadata and then use the metadata to generate the citations. The
> > metadata should include text to be used in the citation and URLs that
> > provide standard views of the object. In the case of images, a URL for
> > a thumbnail image to be used in an image tag and a URL for a standard
> > presentation should be included.
> >
> > The issue is much more general. The presentation to a user of a
> > reference to a digital object needs to be useful to the user. The LSID
> > has no semantics and so is not useful. The general problem occurs in
> > any digital repository and is a subject of study within the digital
> > library community. The repository needs to provide standard language
> > to be used in making a readable citation to one of its LSIDs.
> >
> > As a producer of LSIDs, the Morphbank system will provide a suggestion
> > as to the appropriate citation text, URLs that are appropriate for use
> > in image tags, the URL of the standard presentation of the object, and
> > copyright information. The page generation application can rely on
> > finding standard metadata tags for use in its pages.
> >
> > I advocate that the applicability document include metadata standards
> > for presentation of (at least) the suggested citation text, and the
> > URL for the standard presentation.
> >
> > Greg
> > --
> > Greg Riccardi
> > Professor of the College of Information       <riccardi at ci.fsu.edu>
> > Florida State University      850-644-2869
> > Tallahassee, FL 32306-2100    http://www.ci.fsu.edu/riccardi
> >
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> >
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Robert A. Morris
Professor of Computer Science
ram at cs.umb.edu
phone (+1)617 287 6466

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